Making musical history for Documentary on One

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra made some musical history on 23 October in Studio 1, Radio Centre, resurrecting a piece that hasn’t been heard for over 100 years. The piece is a march by Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, in a new arrangement specially commissioned from Gavin Murphy and recorded for Documentary on One by the RTÉ CO and Gavin Maloney.

Gilmore is the man who brought us ‘When Johnny comes marching home’. He emigrated to the United States from Co. Galway in the 1840s and went on to become the leading band master of his day, entertaining millions of Americans over three decades, playing at six US presidential inaugurations and the opening of the Statue of Liberty. He died suddenly in 1892, just at the dawn of recording technology, and his mantle was taken by John Philip Sousa and so Gilmore, Ireland’s first superstar, remains relatively unknown today.

Tune in to Ireland’s First Superstar, RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday 3 November, 2pm.